greygirlbeast: (Eli1)
Here's the ruckus. There are three things in my life that bring me joy, without fail. What's more, each of these things is, essentially, free. No, I'll not tell you what those three things are. But, because I am not an utter cocksucker, I will say that one of them isn't writing, and if anyone should happen to guess what the other three are, I'll confirm. And send you a banana sticker. Oh, there would be four things that bring me joy, without fail, but it doesn't seem fair to include heroin on the list. Also, I lied about the banana stickers.

No, not having a good day. I'm afraid to go to sleep at night, because all I hear is a clock ticking very loudly.

Also, to harp and beat dead horses, the whole thing with emoticons and l33t, maybe you don't notice anyone thinking you're an idiot when you use XD or <.< or lol***, but maybe that's because you've begun keeping the company of idiots...or maybe you always did. Just a thought. Take it or fucking leave it be. Oh, Caitlín! Will you not ever learn you catch more flies with honey, and a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down? Problem is, it's a lot more satisfying hitting the Bad Things with baseball bats.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,261 words on the still untitled Mars story for Sirenia Digest 69. I mean to finish it today, which makes me eager to think of a title.

Last night, we watched André Øvredal's Trolljegeren (2010; aka Trollhunter). And, fuck me, but never in a million years would I have expected this to be a brilliant little movie. All I can say is see it, and if you read the description first, don't let that affect how you approach the film. You've got to go in with an open mind. I was only just barely able to, but I'm very grateful I was. Want to know what awesome really means, or, for that matter, awful? See this movie. The climactic creature encounter is, truly, genuinely, both awesome and awful. Four thumbs way, way up. Oh, it doesn't hurt if you love the art of people like Arthur Rackham (1867-1939) and John Baur (1882-1918) and have at least a passing familiarity with Nordic mythology.

Now...photographs from August 29th (the day we drove to Watch Hill, then east again to Narragansett), after Irene passed over us, and left the sea angry and ill:

29 August, Part 2 )


*** Or, for example, ;-), :-), o.0, >.>, :-P, ad infinitum. And, for the record, yes, I've caught myself doing this, especially on SL, but I do my best to remind myself it makes me look like an idiot.
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
I'll make no apologies for the tone of yesterday's post. There are no regrets. I will only offer an opaque excuse, that I have been made a party to what is, in my estimation, a sickening tragedy. One that could have easily been prevented. One I tried to prevent. And now I will carry the fact of it in my head for years.

And so, yeah, the fury's going nowhere soon. So, do not attempt to console me. It's amazing how many people on the internet are unable to comprehend that trying to calm a rabid animal only gets them bitten. Oh, and then they whine about how unfair it is they've been bitten. Poor fucking idiots.

---

Today there is work, which part of me needs badly. Never mind my having finished a novel day before yesterday. It's not that I love the work; it's that the work keeps me sane by filling a void. So, yes, work, important work, then my psychiatrist before dinner. There's a prescription.

And speaking of work, I have begun to realize there's presently confusion over the two books I've written this year, The Drowning Girl: A Memoir and Blood Oranges. The first – The Drowning Girl: A Memoir – took me about a year and a half to write, and is, by far, my best novel to date. The second – Blood Oranges - took me forty-five days to write, and if you think of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir as, oh, let's say a gourmet meal, then Blood Oranges is the tasty, but fluffy and insubstantial, desert that comes afterwards.

The Drowning Girl: A Memoir will be out from Penguin in March 2012.

Blood Oranges hasn't yet sold.

And while I'm at it:

Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Me (Volume One) will be out, I think, in September (or maybe October) from Subterranean Press. If you've not ordered, you need to do so.

Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart will be released by Subterranean Press sometime in 2012.

And there's a lot more, and it's awesome, but if I told you, I really would have to kill you. No joke.

---

Yesterday, I read two stories from The Book of Cthulhu. Used to be, I never read the anthologies my stories appeared in. Don't know why. I just never wanted to do it. But, the last year or so I've been reading some of the books with my stories. Anyway, yesterday I read two of the twenty-seven (I think it's twenty-seven) stories in The Book of Cthulhu. The first, John Langan's "The Shallows" is actually quite brilliant. It's unexpected, and fresh, and comes at you sideways. It's not what you think it is. These are all good things. The other was Thomas Ligotti's "Nethescurial," a very Ligottian take on the Lovecraftian found manuscript and the Lovecraftian malign artifact. And of course it was brilliant. It was Thomas fucking Ligotti.

But I fear there's a lot of this book I'm not going to like, stories I'll skip over. Because the author has chosen to use parody in her or his approach HPL, and that's just not my thing.

---

Yesterday, after a lot of work and email, the "day off" began about three p.m. We drove south and west almost to the Connecticut state line, to Westerly and on down to Watch Hill. To the lighthouse at Watch Hill. We took the narrow, winding road out to the lighthouse, and sat on the sea wall. To the west, the protected waters of Little Narragansett Bay were still and quiet. A flock of cormorants sunned themselves on rotting pilings. On the east side of the point, though, the waves were still wild. Now and then, the sun through the spray off the tops of the waves created the briefest of rainbows behind them. We watched surfers a while, then drove east to Moonstone Beach.

As I've said, Moonstone has many moods. And I saw another new one yesterday. I'd expected piles of pebbles and all manner of unusual strandings and flotsam. My expectation is irrelevant. The beach looked stripped raw. I can think of no other way to describe it. There's been a tremendous amount of erosion during the storm. The tide was coming in, and there were odd sandbars and eddies, and the crashing waves – some easily six to eight feet high – were coming in from the west, the east, the southeast, the southwest, in no discernible (gods, the English language is retarded) pattern. The air reeked overwhelmingly of dead fish, though not a dead fish was in evidence. The usual cobbles were almost entirely absent. The waters in the breaker zone were an ugly greenish black, loaded with sediment and all manner of...well...dead things. Mostly plant matter. Only the Piping Plovers seemed to be happy with the state of things, dashing about madly at the water's edge. I could see that the waves had overtopped the dunes and the sea had reached both Trustom and Card ponds. It was the sight of a place you trust as being the incarnation of calm, seen after terrible violence has occurred. But the error is mine. Panthalassa has no interest in my moods, impressions, or needs, and if I thought otherwise, I'd be a fool. Moonstone will heal, in time.

Between the ponds, there were birdwatchers, and we had our monoculars with us. We spotted a Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea) and three Semipalmated Plovers (Charadrius semipalmatus), both new to us.

We drove on to Narragansett, but there was no power. So we couldn't get dinner at Iggy's or at George's (which is actually in Galilee). We did manage to piss at a Cumberland Farms. Their power was out, but they let us use a Bic lighter. It's amazing how dark a women's room can be. At sunset, we drove past Scarborough Beach, and Narragansett Beach. The surf was heavy at the latter, but not as heavy as I'd expected. There were dozens of surfers in the water, most seeming a bit disappointed. All in all, we saw far less damage than I'd expected. And then we came home.

And that was yesterday. Oh, except for three wasted hours in Second Life. If you tell me you like it dark, and then bale when it gets rough, and without so much as a "good night," you're a simpering weasel, and it's really as simple as that.

Wrathfully,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (white)
Great relief over Gustav. This time, Cuba took the blow.

A black day of unfocused and unfocusable anger yesterday, and so a Lost Day. A mostly Lost Day. There was a hint of redemption towards the end.

Day before yesterday, well, that was spent getting Sirenia Digest #33 ready to go out (thank you Gordon, and Vince, and Geoffrey), but I also managed to write another 700 or so words on "Some Notes on an Unfinished Film." I may try to work on it again today, but then it has to be shelved, so I can get to Chapter Five of The Red Tree.

Oh, I actually have some cool news from dreaded Dragon*Con. [livejournal.com profile] scarletboi spoke with Ted Naifeh about allowing Ziraxia to do a Dancy Flammarion T-shirt using his artwork, and Ted agreed it was a great idea. The artwork that gets used might be an illustration from Alabaster, and it might be a drawing of Dancy that Ted did for Sissy and Kat back in 2004. Either way, it will be very cool, and I'll keep you posted. I will assume that all subscribers have received #33, but if you haven't, email Spooky.

Yesterday...I'm not exactly sure how the day began, but by one p.m. or so, I could see it was going nowhere good, nowhere healthy, nowhere productive. So, after I'd somehow managed to focus enough to read "Details of a new skull and articulated cervical column of Dinilysia patagonica Woodward, 1901" in the new Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, we decided to head towards Watch Hill, at the very southwestern corner of Rhode Island, because it's a place we love and we'd not managed to make it down there since we arrived in June. We hoped the Labor Day crowd wouldn't be too bad, but anything would be better than me stalking furiously about the house. Well, no, as it turns out, that was not the case. The sky was an impossible carnivorous shade of blue, not a speck of cloud anywhere, and the sun white as hell, and all of it just making me want to lie down somewhere and dig my fingers deep into the earth and hold on. There is no explaining my "sky anxiety." And to make matters worse, we reached Watch Hill to find it awash and teeming in a foul blanket of tourists. I was heartened to see that "Book and Tackle" is still open, albeit in an inappropriately tidy new building. Also, it was good to see the Aphrodite moored right where I first saw her two years ago.

I told Spooky to just keep driving, to just get me out of all that light and out from under that hideous sky, away from all those people, and we headed back towards her parents' place in Saunderstown. It was shadowy there, under the trees, and I hid upstairs and napped while Spooky sorted through photographs from her childhood. By six p.m., I was calmer, and my head not so full of light, and we headed down to Point Judith, planning to have dinner at Iggy's, hoping the setting sun would have sent most of the tourists scurrying back to their respective points of origin. And mostly, that was true, just not true enough. There were still tourists, and worse still, this year's crop of college students. The line at Iggy's was too long to even consider, and seeing all those faces, my appetite died anyway. We drove down to Harbor of Refuge, where we were able to slip into the underbrush and blessedly away from the throng of fishermen and surfers and college kids. We climbed the steep hill above the Point Judith Fisherman's Memorial. The view from up there was wonderful, the day's first fleck of wonder. The poison ivy is turning red, the air was filled with dragonflies, and the western sky was catching fire. Spooky noted a great deal of rabbit poo, so (thank you, Edward Gorey), we dubbed the hill the Rabbit's Restroom (41°21'43.58"N, 71°29'6.75"W). We watched the surfer's over at the Point, near the lighthouse. There was a marvelous surf, and the largest waves were there, of course.

After a time, we climbed down to the rocky beach (approximately 41°21'42.99"N, 71°29'9.14"W) just east of Harbor of Refuge and sat in the ruins of Fort Greene (WWII, built in 1941). And finally the weight of the sky lifted from me, the weight of all that light. I lost myself in the crash of 10-15 foot waves against the rocks, and the sound of each wave withdrawing to make room for the next. There, the withdrawing water makes the most remarkable sort of noise, and Spooky and I have both struggled to find the right words to describe it. It's bit like hearing popcorn popping, if the kernels were the size of cobblestones. It's a bit like hearing bubbling hot oil, especially if an ice cube is dropped into the oil. We sat there with the gulls and cormorants and Semipalmated plovers while the sun set, astounded at the force of the incoming tide, at the concussions traveling through the stone beneath us. And here is magick, true magick, wild magick. The interface of Panthalassa and Pangea, which one might call mother and father, goddess and god, if one were so crass as to reduce either to merely anthropomorphic abstracts of their true selves. We stayed until dark, and Spooky took a lot of photos. On the way home, we stopped at George's in Galilee for fish (very, very fresh) and chips. First time we'd eaten there since 2004.

There are photos behind the cut:

Saving Grace, 1 September 2008 )


Postscript (3:07 p.m.): I just read that Don LaFontaine has died. "In a world..."
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Something like eight hours of sleep last night, and this morning I am much improved.

I wrote only 631 words yesterday. I am amazed I was able to write anything at all. But, here's the thing. When I set this 1,500-word a day obstacle course for myself, I devised a modest sort of cushion. The Word Bank. Each day I must write 1,500 words, all the way to January 31st. But I knew something would go wrong, eventually. So, I try to write as much more than 1,500 words/per day as possible. Those extra words go into the Word Bank. Savings against a rainy day. As of yesterday, I'd accumulated 1,017 words in the Word Bank. That meant that, to stay on schedule, I had only to write 483 words yesterday. And I actually wrote 631. So, while this leaves the Word Bank momentarily depleted, it does mean I am not yet entirely screwed.

Meanwhile, Spooky learned this morning that Book and Tackle in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, has been demolished. Go back to my entries from our trip to Rhode Island in July and August and there's a photo of Book and Tackle somewhere. It figures. Whatever makes a place special, it cannot much longer endure. They also took out Watch Hill Pizza, which has relocated to Connecticut. I predict that next time we're in Watch Hill, a combo Starbuck's/Dunkin' Donuts will have been erected on the spot, there where the road curves towards to lighthouse, and above the combo there shall be condos. That's the holy commercial triptych of early 21st Century America — Starbuck's, Dunkin' Donuts, and condos (from the low 200s). Okay, well, maybe the Dunkin' Donuts part's not true outside Rhode Island (where one of the damn things occupies every other square foot), but you can substitute some other chain, if you wish. Book and Tackle will be mourned and missed.

My thanks to Sarah C., who writes re: Daughter of Hounds:

I just wanted to tell you that I have been reading your work for the past eight years of my life. I've read and reread my copies of The Dreaming because the stories you wrote are some of my favorite of all The Sandman-type books.

So tonight I went to Powell's bookstore here in Portland Oregon and bought a copy of your latest book. It's now four hours later, and one hundred and fifty-seven pages in. I am tired and excited about going to sleep because I want to wake up fresh faced so I am able to read the rest tomorrow. I hope that this book gets a wide audience of readers, and I will push this on all of my friends. Thanks for filling my head with amazing stories.


157 pp.? Let's see. That's the start of Chapter Four ("Woonsocket"). Anyway, thank you, Sarah. And to everyone else reading this journal, I do hope that if you have not already acquired, by whatever means, a copy of Daughter of Hounds, that you will do so today. There's a lot riding on this one.

Yesterday is all delirium, more or less. A murky blur of sleep deprivation. After the writing, I had a half-hour nap before dinner. Spooky got pizza from Fellini's (the one on Ponce, as the Candler Park location is being remodeled). We read the first 85 pages of Christopher Priest's The Prestige. Aside from the annoying present-day frame, it is quite good.

Right. Now, time to get back on the horse, as They are wont to say. A long day of words ahead of me...

Watch Hill

Aug. 6th, 2006 11:17 am
greygirlbeast: (decemberists)
I learned last night (thank you [livejournal.com profile] sovay) that I'm a World Fantasy Award finalist, twice over. To Charles Fort, With Love has been nominated for Best Collection, and "La Peau Verte" has been nominated for Best Short Story. In both categories, I am in august company (Kelly Link, Joe Hill, Peter S. Beagle, Holly Phillips, Bruce Holland Rogers, George Saunders, and — ahem — Peter S. Beagle), and I am extremely pleased with these nominations, as I was with the earlier IHG nominations. On the heels of the recent Troubles, it's most heartening, and this is the first time during my eleven years in publishing that I've received WFA nods. I hope it's an indication that my work is beginning to be perceived more as fantasy, in a broader sense, and less as "horror," sensu genre. Oh, I almost forgot. I was also very, very happy to see that Weird Shadows Over Innsmouth (ed. by Steve Jones), which included my story "From Cabinet 34, Drawer 6," was nominated in the Best Anthology category.

Today's another day indoors, and I aim to get two entries done, the one for August 2nd I'd meant to do on Friday and another one for yesterday.

Early on Wednesday, I finally learned what had happened with the two remaindered trade paperbacks, Low Red Moon and Murder of Angels. I did not yet know that the books would still be released next year as mass-market paperbacks, but just knowing something, removing even that small bit of uncertainty, allowed my black mood to lift an inch or so. The cottage was hot as hell, and we left, dimly hoping to find cooler air somewhere else. At first, there was an odd bit of circling about (I think we were both a little addled from the heat) and we ended up heading north on Highway 2 towards Warwick. Not being especially fond of Warwick, I asked Spooky if we could please avoid it. She was grumpy, and the whole thing was sort of like Susan Sarandon trying to reach Mexico without going through Texas in Thelma and Lousie. We exited Hwy. 2 and took Middle Road west into East Greenwich, passing Ike Shippee Corner and Tarbox Corners, then turning north on Carr's Pond Road, then west again into West Greenwich and onto I-95, turning south through Exeter. A whole lot of aimless wandering about in the sun, seeing nothing much of interest.

Finally, it was determined that we should head southwest to Watch Hill, all the way down at the Connecticut border (as we're both fond of Watch Hill, and we hoped there might be cooler air thereabouts). Amazingly, there was cooler air in Watch Hill! We parked on Bay Street, near Book and Tackle, a shop with such an intriguing name we were drawn at once inside. I saw no tackle, but there were aisles and aisles of old books and postcards. The floor was wooden, and there were minute dunes at the base of a lot of the shelves, sand tracked in on shoes and bare feet and not swept away. But the bookshop was sweltering, and we soon found ourselves back outside in cool ocean breeze. There were great clouds building in the western sky, above Stonington and Little Narragansett Bay, mercifully shutting out the sun. We walked up Bay Street to the Flying Horse Merry-Go-Round. To quote a somewhat illiterate tourism website:

Oldest in America, made in 1867. The 20 horses are not attached to the floor but instead are suspended from a center frame, swinging out or flying when in motion. About each horse is hand carved from of wood and is embellished with real tails and manes, leather saddles and agate eyes. The only flying horse carousel surviving in the country. It was brought to Watch Hill in 1883 permenently in 1883 or 1884. Children only. Lovingly maintained and preserved by The Watch Hill Memorial Library and Improvement Society.

We sat with an old man on a stone bench and watched the horses swinging round and round beneath the exposed support beams of the roof. A little later, we walked down to Fort Road and Watch Hill Cove, where we sat on the sea wall and watched the sun begin to set. It must have been about seven p.m. by then. The heat was much lessened by the clouds and a steady breeze off the water. The cove was dotted with bobbing boats of all sorts. I was especially taken with a sleek yacht appropriately named Aphrodite. The tide was going out, and I climbed over the wall onto the wet brown sand. There was a tiny jellyfish stranded there. Spooky found a desiccated minnow lying on the wall and we speculated on the circumstances of its demise. There were gulls and cormorants and sparrows and one haughty swan. The sun was beautiful on the water. And the tourists were far and away less vile than the sort we'd encountered earlier down in Galilee, Narragansett, and Jerusalem. I cannot abide most of the beach-goers, sweaty sunburned drunks of both sexes, barely clothed, loud and garish and ugly, flip-flops and thongs and great hairy bellies...but I'm getting off track.

Five years back, I began a story, "The House at Watch Hill Point," but only got 350 words in before it stalled out on me. Walking about Watch Hill on Wednesday, I thought perhaps I should finish it. Well, in truth, it's hardly been properly begun.

We drove up to Wakefield for dinner at Italian Village, a marvelous little restaurant Spooky introduced me to in July 2004. Then, back in Greenhill, where things had cooled off quite a bit, we watched Project Runway (still pretty dull compared to the first two seasons, though I've taken an inexplicable liking to Bradley). I made my first LJ/Blog entry in seven days. I didn't get to sleep until about four a.m.

Here are some photos (behind the cut):

2 August 2006 )


Okay. More later. There's e-mail I should be dealing with.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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